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New Republic of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
600px-Flag of Turkmenistan.svg
600px-Coat of Arms of Turkmenistan.svg
Motto: 'Lider İnanç Faith In The Leader'
Anthem: 'Garaşsyz, Bitarap Türkmenistanyň Döwlet Gimni'
Turkmenistanmap
Turkmenistan
Capital:
Ashgabat
Official Language(s): Turkmen
Language of Inter Ethnic Communication: Russian
Demonym: Turkmen
Ethnic Groups: Turkmen 85%

Uzbek 5% Russian 4% other 6%

Government
 - President:
Presidential republic Multi-Party State
Semuglay Hazamanov
Independance
 -from Soviet Union:
 -Coup d'etat:

1991
June 2010
Area
 - Total:
 - Water(%):

491,210 km2
4.9
Population
 - Total Population:
 - Density:

5,110,000
10.5/km2
Currency: Turkmen New Manat

Turkmenistan (Turkmen: Türkmenistan), formerly also known as Turkmenia (Russian: Туркмения), is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991 was part of the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan borders Uzbekistan to the north, Afghanistan to the south east, and Iran to the south, and the Caspian Sea to the West. Turkmenistan holds the worlds fourth largest natural gas reserves, and as a result exports of natural gas are the countries main source of income. Formerly a presidential single party state the 2010 coup de'etat brought in a new government, which changed the consititution and brought in a new governmental system with mandatory elections.

Politics

Turkmenistan was formerly a single-party state ruled by self proclaimed president for life Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, until the Military Coup which occured in 2010 ousting the President, and bringing a new era of politics in Turkmenistan, such as the end of the single party system, and elections every four years.The first elected president, Semuglay Hazamunov, who was elected in 2010. The new president has changed much of the former presidents policies, such as the encouragement of racism and the banishment of the Circus. Much of the countries treasury was spent on building palaces and regenerating Turkmen cities by the former president, which has left the country in an economic crisis.

Government

Turkmenistan's government is a Presidential Republic where the President is the head of state, and head of government. The Legislative Arm of the Government is made up of the Peoples Council of Turkmenistan, which is made up of 132 seats. The Peoples Council under agreement with the new President Hazamunov changed the constitution to allow for multiple political parties and elections becoming mandatory every four years.

Administrative Divisions

Yurkmenistan is divided into five provinces or welayatlar (singular welayat) and one capital city district. The provinces are subdivided into districts (etraplar, sing. etrap), which may be either counties or cities.

TurkmenistanNumbered
Province Capital City Area Pop.
Ashgabat City Ashgabat 470 km2 871,500
1. Ahal Anau 97,160 km2 939,700
2. Balkan Balkanabat 139,270 km2 555,300
3. Dashoguz Dashoguz 73,430 km2 1,370,000
4. Lebap Turkmenabat 93, 730 km2 1,344,500
5. Mary Mary 87,150 km2 1,480,400


Human Rights

Turkmenistan had been widely criticised for human rights abuses under the Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov regime, which is now improving under the Hazamunov regime. Berdymukhammedov imposed severe restrictions on foreign travel for citizens. Discrimination against the country's ethnic minorities, Universities had been encouraged to reject applicants with non-Turkmen surnames, especially ethnic Turkics (including Tajiks, Kyrgyzs and Turks) It was forbidden to teach the customs and language of the Baloch, an ethnic minority.

Turkmenistan had one of the worst press freedom conditions in the world. It is considered to be one of the "10 Most Censored Countries". Each broadcast under Berdymukhammedov began with a pledge that the broadcaster's tongue would shrivel if he slanders the country, flag, or president. The new regime encourages freedom of speech and press throughout Turkmenistan.

Climate

It is one of the driest deserts in the world, some places have an average annual precipitation of only 12 mm (0.47 in). The highest temperature recorded in Ashgabat is 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) and Kerki, an extreme inland city located on the banks of the Amu Darya river, recorded 51.7 °C (125.1 °F) in July 1983, although this value is unofficial. 50.1C is the highest temperature recorded at Repetek Reserve.

Economy

The country possesses the world's fourth-largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources, and is a large exporter, although sanctions from the United Nations imposed restrictions on exporting.

In 2010, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 60%, mainly caused by the economic crisis in the country after President Berdymukhammedov spent much of the country's revenue on extensively renovating cities, Ashgabat in particular. Corruption watchdogs voiced particular concern over the management of Turkmenistan's currency reserves, most of which are held in off-budget funds.

Demographics

Language

Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan (per the 2011 Constitution), although Russian still is widely spoken in cities as a "language of inter-ethnic communication". Turkmen is spoken by 72% of the population, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, and other languages 7%.

Religion

Muslims constitute 89% of the population while 9% of the population are followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the remaining 2% religion is reported as non-religious. Islam came to the Turkmen primarily through missionary activities. Missionaries were holy men and they often were adopted as patriarchs of particular clans or tribal groups, thereby becoming their "founders." Reformulation of communal identity around such figures accounts for one of the highly localized developments of Islamic practice in Turkmenistan.

Media

There are a number of newspapers and monthly magazines published in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan currently broadcasts 6 national TV channels through satellite. They are Altyn asyr, Yashlyk, Miras, Turkmenistan (in 7 languages), Turkmen Owazy and Ashgabat. Internet services are the least developed in Central Asia. Access to internet services are provided by the governments ompany "Turkmentelekom". It was estimated that in 2010 there were 80,400 internet users in Turkmenistan or roughly 1.6% of total population.

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